Continuing Education is a Requirement for Home Inspectors
Home Inspection Continuing Education in Washington State
For all licensed home inspectors in Washington State, the Washington State Department of Licensing adheres to the following criteria, which they have published online in their “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Home Inspectors and Consumers.”
What are the continuing education requirements for home inspectors?
You will need at least 24 hours of approved continuing education to renew your license every two years.
Continuing education must be approved by the Program to be counted towards your renewal. Essentially, the continuing education must be accredited with the state’s home inspection licensing program.
Though there may be overlap in approved courses between home inspection and real estate agent continuing education, it is not safe to assume that a particular class, like real estate fundamentals, for example, will satisfy either professional requirement without checking with your state’s department of licensing first.
Can I carry over unused continuing education from one licensing period to the next?
No. Unfortunately, neither law nor rule provides for carryover of continuing education from subsequent renewal periods. This means that even if you do complete more than 24 hours of approved continuing education, the excess above 24hrs will not affect your licensing status beyond the renewal period it was a part of.
Feel free to educate yourself to your heart’s content, just know that in the eyes of the state, any continuing education completed during a two year renewal period ONLY has an effect on your state licensing for that particular renewal period.
So don’t get mad if the state won’t allow you to complete 10 years of home inspection license renewals in your first two years, that’s just the way it is, but all the knowledge you would have gained would make it all worth it, right?
Can I use Continuing Education from a profession other than home inspection?
No. Unfortunately, neither law nor rule provides for reciprocity of continuing education from a profession outside of home inspection.
This means that if you were a real estate agent, or an appraiser, or any position which required state licensure and continuing education to be completed, you will be unable to use ANY of the continuing education credits you received from your prior respective fields.
Architects and construction engineer or surveyor discussion of plans and blueprints
So if you are licensed in the construction industry, or in the real estate industry as something other than a home inspector, or any other industry requiring state licensure, even though we all rely on a lot of the same general industry-wide knowledge, there is even more minute and specific details which each profession focuses on that the others do not.
It is these differences that require profession-specific training and continuing education. Because there are a lot more differences than similarities between professions even within the same industry, it would be difficult to attempt to transfer and equate courses and specific professional skills to one another, and so they just don’t try.
Hence, the inability to use continuing education credit from a profession other than the home inspection profession.
Can I use continuing education from another state?
No. Unfortunately, neither law nor rule provides for reciprocity of continuing education from a state other than Washington, UNLESS THE COURSE WAS APPROVED BY THE PROGRAM.
You can find a list of approved courses for home inspectors on the Washington DOL Website.
Essentially, if you are a home inspector in a state other than Washington, you may be able to transfer your home inspection license to Washington without having to get relicensed.
Though we may all be in this great country that is the U.S.A., any continuing education completed out of state will not apply to your continuing education requirements in-state.
But, unless the WSDOL Home Inspection Program approves them, any continuing education you have completed in the current licensing period from out of state will become null and void once you begin offering inspection services in Washington.
When does my continuing education expire?
You are required to complete all continuing education hours by your birth date, every two years. Depending on when your first license was issued, the amount of time you have to complete the almost 30 hours of approved continuing education curriculum could be less than a full 24 months on your first renewal. (See WAC 308-408A-110).
What happens if I don’t complete my continuing education?
You should not renew your home inspection license before completing your required 24 hours of approved continuing education. Your renewal contains an attestation that you have completed your required continuing education. If you answer that you have completed it and are found to have not, you may face disciplinary action.
The Program recommends that you first complete your required 24 hours of approved continuing education, and pay the late renewal penalty once your education is complete.
The late renewal fee for home inspection licensees is about $60 above and beyond what you would typically pay for your home inspector license renewal.
What does it cost to renew my home inspection license in Washington State?
When you first become a home inspector in Washington State and pass your licensing examinations, the initial licensing fee for home inspectors is $680 to get your first home inspector’s license.
This is what a Washington State home inspector license looks like. It includes your professional designation, your name, address, license number, expiration date, and a signature from the director of the Program. Pretty simple.
Each subsequent home inspection license renewal in Washington will cost you $375. This means that to be a legally licensed home inspector in Washington, it will cost you $680 in licensing fees and costs for your first two years, and then $375 for each two-year renewal after that.
This also means that with the late renewal fee being $60, if you were to renew your home inspection license on a late renewal fee, the Washington State Department of Licensing would charge you a total of $435 to renew for the next two years.
This includes all Washington Counties, i.e. Thurston County, Pierce County, King County, Jefferson County, and every other Washington County.
Free Real Estate Agent Continuing Education!
If you are a real estate agent in the Pacific Northwest AND you want to find out how you can get a free Washington State Approved real estate agent continuing education class or two, watch the video below and then fill in your email in the form below and click submit, a Washington State licensed home inspector will contact you about the free accredited course (You will need an I.D. code to proceed with the free course, which you can get by submitting your email below)!
Non-Accredited Real Estate and Home Inspection Courses Online
If learning more about home inspections and real estate is what you are after rather than completing a course for your state’s real estate licensing requirements, there are actually many awesome opportunities, both free and paid, to learn more about home inspecting and the real estate industry as a whole!
Udemy Online Real Estate Courses and Learning Opportunities
Storytelling for Home Inspection and Report Writing is a course focused on learning how we as home inspectors can utilize storytelling to help manage client expectations, help your clients visualize and understand better what you are telling them both during and after the inspection process, limit your liability as a home inspector, and so much more! Click here to view this course on Udemy now!
Everything About Buying a Home Explained Visually is an online course focused on comprehensive coverage of important U.S. real estate terms and concepts, from contacting your first real estate agent to shaking hands at the closing table (Though this isn’t really done anymore as you are no longer required to be present at signing anymore with all of the online and long-distance signature capabilities). This is done with short, easily digestible videos over about two and a half hours and 75 bite-sized course modules. View the real estate course now!
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